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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Viera Goes for Blood

I've been thinking alot about the recent media buzz surrounding the death of professional wrestler, Chris Benoit. Something about this just hits me wrong. For one thing, the interview I watched this morning between Meredith Viera and WWE Owner, Vince McMahon and I was really disgusted with Ms. Viera. She was dead set on attacking Mr. McMahon and I just don't think it was warranted. She obviously was coming from the mindset that a person is not actually responsible for their own behavior if they are somehow affiliated with a group of any kind. The fact that Benoit was a professional wrestler labeled him, in her mind, as a violent, steroid-eating monster who was inevitably capable of harming his family. She even went so far as to bring up other wrestlers who had died early in their careers and to try and grill Vince about the circumstances surrounding their deaths. What the hell?

This is exactly the kind of thing that turned me against pursuing a career in journalism. At one point in my life, I was in love with the idea of becoming a journalist. I thought it was great to be able to get the story out to people and that there was no career that I would enjoy more. Over the years, my fascination turned to disgust as I watched news programs scrambling to cover the sensational side of every issue that crossed their news desks. I became more and more disenchanted and finally decided that journalism was just not going to be right for me. Of course, there are still some who stay true to the principles of reporting the news in an unbiased manner, but it is getting harder and harder to find them.

Several months back, I wrote a piece on this issue on Associated Content. I had a relative who had been going through some particularly difficult times and ended up on the news after getting into trouble with the law. I was shocked at how they inflated the issue and how they were so insensitive to what was happening to the family at that point in time. They obviously didn't have the whole story, but it didn't matter. They only wanted the pieces that would gain the most viewers. Viera's interview was similar in that she wasn't interested in how Benoit's death had affected Mr. McMahon or Benoit's co-workers or even members of his family who are still trying to cope with the aftermath. She was so set on going for Vince's throat that she forgot to be unbiased. It was obvious that she was nowhere near neutral in her reporting of this incident. She used the interview with Mr. McMahon as an opportunity to show viewers that she isn't afraid to go for blood. She wanted to show that she can go after the story with the best of them, no matter what she puts her guest through.

Vince McMahon as I understand it, is no saint, but he's not Satan either. There was really no good reason for the attack and I felt bad for him. The situation with Benoit should not be used as a platform for berating wrestlers. He was his own person with his own demons and all of that is really none of my business. As a fan of wrestling and even of Benoit, I'm disturbed by what happened, but I certainly don't see the point in blaming the individuals he worked for and with when they are obviously mourning the loss as members of his "extended" family. What is the point of this? I am certain that there was a side of this story that should have been presented, but will never see the light of day. How else can we be sure to perpetuate the b.s. that we have to look at on the news every day? We most certainly shouldn't expect that they would attempt to use discretion or even employ a little empathy under these circumstances. That wouldn't get ratings.

1 comment:

Mel said...

There's a reason why reporters are known as vultures. I also had dreams of being a reporter but then I thought about if I had to interview a grieving family member.

A Little Bit of Mystery: Short Mysteries to Confuse and Amuse

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